Earlier this month we spent two wonderful weeks in Italy, where we visited Venice, Florence, Greve in Chianti, Montefioralle, Siena, San Gimignano, and Montalcino. We drove through the Tuscan countryside and Val d’Orcia all the way to Rome, where we ended the trip. It was a fantastic trip. Italy is a photographer’s paradise and I took thousands of photos. Starting my series on Italy, here’s a slide show of the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
“An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.” (- Charlemagne)
Rosemary better to be used fresh as desiccated leaves loose flavor.
To strip the leaves from a woody sprig, simply hold the stem in one hand and remove the leaves using the finger and thumb of the other hand, pushing against the direction of the growth
Rosemary’s pungent flavor complements fatty meats particularly well, When grilling, toss a sprig or two of fresh rosemary onto the coals to add a wonderfully intense smokiness to your meats.You can use a woodier branch from the plant as to brush oil on grilling meat. On grilling a lamb it’s compulsory as its aromatic smells eliminates the characteristic sheep smell.
Rosemary in marinades, or as an accent for Mediterranean vegetables. Great in some tomato sauces. Pay attention not to use too much especially in summer when it can be too…
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On a very hot day in July we left the air-conditioned comfort of our car and, along with several coach loads of tourists, struggled up a big hill to the town of San Gimignano perched on the top. The town is famous for its towers, of which there used to be many, but now only 14 of the original 76 remain. Built as symbols of their owner’s wealth, they were the 13th century’s equivalent of a man buying a faster sports car than his neighbour. But that was not why we were there. We were there to taste the wine. But only after a granita to cool us down.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano growing in the fields below the town.
The town is not very big but the fact that it appears in every guidebook about Tuscany means that there are lots of visitors, and unfortunately all the shops are…
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上週末的一次聚會中，選擇了一支較特別的葡萄酒作慶祝，是來自意大利的 Super Tuscany。究竟為何叫做這個名稱呢？
話說舊世界的產葡萄酒國家都有一整套特定的條例，由葡萄品種到種植和造酒過程都有一定的規管，才能夠在酒標上用上某種特定的級數。如在意大利，就分 DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) 或 DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)。如果不獲得認定的，就只能歸入次一等的 IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) 甚至不獲評級。
七十年代開始，有一班富冒險精神的釀酒師就偏偏要於意大利托斯卡納的土壤上栽種由外國引入的葡萄品種，例如 Cabernet Sauvignon。這些挑戰常規的酒，不可能被列入既有的評級中，但卻造得越來越出色，而且有價有市，所以除了被列入 IGT 等級外，也會被冠以 Super Tuscany 的外號，這並非任何官方等級，但在價格上反映了這些酒的江湖地位，因為一些被追捧的 Super Tuscany 分分鐘可以比法國的列級酒庄出品還要貴，有機會的話，記得要試吓。